AFR: Saints' ownership shakeup eases tension in Metairie - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

AFR: Saints' ownership shakeup eases tension in Metairie

Left to right, Gayle and Tom Benson and Rita Benson-Leblanc (FOX 8 photo) Left to right, Gayle and Tom Benson and Rita Benson-Leblanc (FOX 8 photo)
METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) -

It couldn't have been easy but it had to be done.

That's the overall feeling I get about the bombshell news that Tom Benson changed his succession plan to give sole ownership to his wife Gayle after his death and oust his granddaughter Rita, grandson Ryan and daughter Renee.

From what I've been able to gather, this is a move that is the worst case for Benson's daughter and grandchildren but the best case scenario for those working in the organization. The tension between Gayle and Rita was no secret. That tension escalated even further this year when Ryan and Renee moved into their offices at team facility in Metairie.

Once the three of them were in the same building, it was a mess on Airline Drive. It impacted what was a winning vibe/flow to day-to-day operations.

I believe that organizational fatigue and anxiety played a role in the sub-par season. No, it wasn't the biggest reason, the Saints just weren't as good, but all year long things never felt quite right. All year long, I could sense there were some fundamental issues that went deeper than just the roster and coaches.

Perhaps that was the biggest thing Benson needed to see to make this move. Perhaps he saw what his organization would become with them in charge and he couldn't let that happen. Only Benson knows for sure the reasons why he made this decision and what ultimately was the breaking point for doing it.

It couldn't have been easy but it had to be done.

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